George Washington Carver School Of Arts And ScienceCharter Renewal

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George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012I. IntroductionFour years ago George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science opened its doors.The small, innovative high school was to be the first public high school in California toimplement Waldorf methods. To achieve this goal, the school opened with facilities,faculty and students from America’s Choice. Through a dramatic and challengingtransition, the new program school quickly turned around a failing high school.Teachers, staff and students built a thriving community where everyone loves learning,where students and teachers engage in meaningful learning together, and where creativityand innovation are daily practices. George Washington Carver School of Arts andScience (Carver) offers an innovative, creative high school education. It was born out ofa 100 year old international education system currently boasting 1000 schools worldwide on nearly every continent. Carver opened in the fall of 2008 with 100 students. Atfull implementation, Carver will be a small high school with 400-500 students.Carver is located at 10101 Systems Parkway, Sacramento, CA 95827, on the eastern edgeof the Sacramento City Unified School District and Rancho Cordova. The school districtand the city of Rancho Cordova fully embrace the school.History of AccomplishmentsIn 2004, America’s Choice High School opened as one of the first small innovative highschools, part of the high school reform efforts in SCUSD. America’s Choice moved tothree locations until it finally moved into its permanent home in February 2008, a new 13acre campus, where the school resides today. In June of that year, it was determined thatAmerica’s Choice would co-locate with the final small innovative high school to open,the Waldorf High School.Since the merger, George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science submitted apetition for material revisions to the charter to the Board of Education in October 2008.The material revisions removed the America’s Choice curriculum and embedded aWaldorf inspired curriculum.In three years the school has grown form 100- to 290 students in grades 9-12.The school’s API jumped from 598 to 750 in two years.Attendance rates leapt from 85% to 96%.Suspensions dropped as graduation rates soared to 90%Carver earned a full three year Western Association of Schools and Colleges(WASC) accreditation from June 2009 to June 2013. We are currently engaged inour self-study for the next WASC re-accreditation.Implementation of the Linked Learning pathway of Sustainability.Model After School program through a joint grant with SCUSD and SacramentoCity Parks and Recreation which supports our Waldorf Curriculum.rev 0209121

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012Recognizing the importance of personal and professional development, Carversupports the staff by providing a number of opportunities for Waldorf Teachertraining including:o High School Teacher Training Certification coursework for all facultyevery summer at Rudolf Steiner Collegeo Attendance for all faculty and staff at the annual Alliance for PublicWaldorf Education Conference in Januaryo Ongoing weekly Waldorf study with mentor teacher, Betty Staleyo Summer Institute for all faculty and staff integrating Waldorf methods intothe Linked Learning pathwayFounding Group and Leadership TeamAllegra Alessandri—PrincipalDr. Alessandri is a Waldorf graduate and 24 year teaching veteran. She earned herBachelor’s degree from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, a Master’s from GeorgetownUniversity and her doctorate from UC Davis in Educational Leadership. Dr. Alessandriis a national leader in Waldorf High School development and is a specialist in Waldorfcurriculum as it meets UC a-g requirements and California State Standards. She hasserved on the Board of Trustees at San Francisco Waldorf School, the Alliance for PublicWaldorf Education and Golden Valley Charter School, a Waldorf inspired public school.Dr. Alessandri has taught English and history, and is an adjunct professor at RudolfSteiner College and Chengdu Waldorf Teacher Training Center in Chengdu, China.Aart DeWaard—Biology and Gardening InstructorAs an Agriculture graduate student in The Netherlands, Mr. DeWaard was first exposedto Rudolf Steiner’s ways of thinking via the bio-dynamic farming methods he studied forhis masters in organic farming. He continued his interest in Rudolf Steiner’s as a studentteacher at a Dutch Waldorf school earning his credentials in biology. Later in life, as afather, he enrolled his children in several Waldorf schools, both in Europe and the US.Together with his previous Waldorf experience, his training at Rudolf Steiner College,and a decade of teaching at inner city public schools, Mr. DeWaard is pioneeringinnovative ways to apply Waldorf principles within the structures and expectations ofpublic education.Laura Embrey-Stine—English InstructorMs. Embrey-Stine earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and her Master’s in Educationfrom UC Berkeley. Ms. Embrey-Stine is a 26-year teaching veteran. She has taught inWaldorf schools for the past seventeen years, taking one class from first through eighthgrades and a second class from fifth through eighth grade. After graduating her class shejoined the high school faculty in the Humanities Department, where she taught Englishrev 0209122

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012and history. Her prior experience teaching English and social sciences in public schoolsfor eleven years led to her investigation of Waldorf methods and her subsequent two-yeartraining at Rudolf Steiner College. She has been an instructor at Rudolf Steiner Collegefor ten years. Ms. Embrey-Stine has published a book on form drawing for grades onethrough four, which is a required text for Waldorf Teacher Training Certification.Nadine Mitchell—Office Manager and Outreach CoordinatorNadine Mitchell has 21 years of experience in education, most of which was working in alow performing, at-risk urban school. Involvement with the Waldorf experience wastruly by accident: Ms. Mitchell was referred to the new principal to help with what wasthen, just a concept. She was immediately intrigued by the Waldorf pedagogy. Once theconcept became a reality, the belief in the philosophy that every child is important, everychild can learn became evident. The results were almost immediate and in a data drivendistrict, this means success.So inspired, her objective now is to provide outreach to other ethnicities not equallyrepresented in private Waldorf education. She feels that Waldorf teaching strategies aresensitive to ethnic and cultural contexts necessary to assist in the learning of underrepresented ethnic groups. This Waldorf inspired environment provides building blocksinstead of barriers and offers challenging opportunities to grow and be successfulacademically and socially.Scott Preston—Spanish InstructorMr. Preston is an educator with 16 years of experience in the public sector. He holds aBachelor of Arts degree in English/Communication and a Master of Arts in EducationalSupervision and Leadership. He discovered Waldorf Education during the search for anappropriate school environment for his own children. Upon learning of this uniqueapproach to teaching he pursued his own education within the Waldorf community. Scottwill complete his Waldorf High School Certification through the Rudolf Steiner Collegein Fair Oaks, California in 2012.Scott moved his family from Phoenix, Arizona to Sacramento, California to become partof the Carver School of Arts and Science. Since its inception in 2008 Scott’s contributionto Carver includes teaching all levels of Spanish, a main lesson focusing on AncientMesoamerican history, the elective courses of communication and journalism and servingas a resource and mentor for campus building projects.Scott Stine- English and Drama InstructorMr. Stine is a third generation teacher and is in his 29th year of service. He earned hisBachelor’s degree from the University of California Berkeley and studied with the BayArea Writing Project to obtain his credential. After fourteen years teaching at publicmiddle schools, he began teaching at a private Waldorf high school. For twelve years herev 0209123

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012taught English, history, art and drama as well as various Main Lessons. Mr. Stine wasinspired by the opportunity to help start the first public Waldorf high school and to bringthis education to those who would otherwise be unable to afford a private school tuition.He has taught classes at Rudolf Steiner College and earned a certificate in CollegeAdmissions and Career Counseling.rev 0209124

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012Element A. The Educational ProgramVisionOur vision is that all our students, regardless of background, will graduate from GeorgeWashington Carver School of Arts and Science with the option of going to college andmaster the skills and knowledge necessary for them to be successful. Our vision is that asstudents learn about the world, they will come to know themselves.MissionTo achieve this vision, we will engage all students in developing 21st Century Skills-critical thinking and creative problem solving skills-- in an integrated and rigorouscollege-preparatory curriculum that integrates the arts and environmental stewardship.Ultimately, through the course of four years at Carver, each student will find his/her ownunique path towards becoming intelligent, self-confident, and socially responsibleindividuals. Our students will have the skills and knowledge to address the question:how will you engage the world?What is Waldorf Education?Waldorf education is a humanistic approach to pedagogy based on the educationalphilosophy of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. Learning is interdisciplinary,integrating practical, artistic, and conceptual elements. The approach emphasizes the roleof the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as ananalytic component. The educational philosophy's overarching goals are to provideyoung people the basis on which to develop into free, morally responsible and integratedindividuals, and to help every child fulfill his or her unique destiny.The First Waldorf Schools"Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able, ofthemselves, to impart purpose and direction to their lives."Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)In the chaotic circumstances of post-World War I Germany, Rudolf Steiner had beengiving lectures on his ideas for transforming society and the role of education to renewsociety to the workers of various factories. The workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarettefactory in Stuttgart, Germany asked whether their children could be given such a school.The owner and managing director of the factory, Emil Molt, announced his decision toset up such a school for his factory workers' children. The name Waldorf thus comesfrom the factory which hosted the first school.rev 0209125

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012The original Waldorf school was formed as an independent institution licensed by thelocal government as an exploratory model school with special freedoms. Steiner specifiedfour conditions which were radically innovative in 1919: the school be open to all children;that it be coeducational;that it be a unified twelve-year school;that the teachers, those individuals actually in contact with the children, haveprimary control over the pedagogy of the school, with a minimum of interferencefrom the state or from economic sources.The school opened on Sept. 7, 1919 with 256 pupils in eight grades. It had been anexplicit goal of the founders to create a school that bridged social classes. The Stuttgartschool grew quickly, adding a grade each year of secondary education, which thus by the1923/4 school year included grades 9-12, and adding parallel classes in all grades. By1926 there were more than 1,000 pupils in 28 classes.Since the opening of the first Waldorf school there has been an explosion of schoolsopening and thriving worldwide. Currently there are nearly 1000 schools, with anadditional 200 programs developing in China alone! In California and the western states,twenty-five of independent charter Waldorf schools have opened with another twenty indevelopment. Sacramento City Unified School District boasts the first public Waldorf K8 program and the first dependent charter Waldorf high school program in the nation.How Does Learning Best Occur?At Carver, our mission is to implement Waldorf methods as our best teaching practices.Teaching and Learning is a process that engages the Head (the intellect and academiccontent) the Heart (students must feel excited and in relationship to what they arelearning), and Hands (students transform what they have learned and how they felt aboutit into a product). We integrate creativity, critical thinking and creative problem solvingin all our lessons. Students write across the curriculum and engage in discussion of ideas,theories and findings in all their subjects.Each day students and teachers greet each other with a handshake. Class begins with apoem, verse or song. Teachers engage students in an active review of yesterday’s class,refreshing the memory and rebuilding the subject. The teacher delivers new material in anartistic way through imagery, or storytelling, which activates the visual memory. Thelesson offers students opportunities to activate their thinking, their feeling and the lessonends with students doing—turning their new knowledge into an essay, illustration,research or math problem. Every lesson is three fold in this way with artistic, reflectiveand active work by every student. We train our teachers so that they practice teaching asan art form—reading the class and individual students before them; masters of theirsubject matter and State Standards; expertly weaving in creativity, discussion, and criticalthinking through the lesson.rev 0209126

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012Learning also happens at Carver through integrated units throughout the year. Physicsand art, history and English, individually and in small groups, our projects lead to schoolwide festivals in which our entire community celebrates learning. One example of suchproject began at the beginning of the school year. Over 70 student and teacher volunteersmet at Discovery Park for the Great American River Clean Up Day. Students scoured theparkway and river bank for garbage. Students collected bags of trash and found realburied treasures: collectable whisky bottles, wooded sideboards of sunken ships and giantStyrofoam buoys. All trash came back to campus for two main projects: the tenth gradeart students created junk sculptures and a physics lab on the energy used to create thematerials that we wasted as trash. These two projects led to the design and creation of agiant trash dragon. The school community gathered at the end of September to learnabout the environmental impact of our trash. Students pledged to reduce waste.Volunteers slew the dragon, a symbolic promise to reduce personal waste. We sang, weenjoyed the art, we played energy saving games, all in honor of art and physics. Thisproject was recorded by KVIE, The American Graduate: Keeping California Kids inSchool (’s small environment allows each teacher to forge strong bonds between studentsand families, and instills a sense that each student is valued and cared for in this uniquelyrich setting.Educating for the 21st CenturyRecently, a group of district Board members, superintendents and other educationalleaders came to Carver for a Linked learning residency. They observed a student-teacherdiscussion and evaluation of our school wide grading rubrics. By way of reflecting on theexercise, these visitors commented about how articulate and respectful these studentswere, and what a sense of identity they demonstrated. They asked: how do you teachyour students critical thinking and articulate expression?These are the 21st Century Skills Carver students learn implicitly throughout the four yeareducation. In every assignment, class discussion, integrated project, Carver teachersweave in practice of the four basic 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking, Clear Writtenand Verbal Communication, Collaboration and Creativity. While we address ourCalifornia State Standards and insure our students are prepared for all their standardizedexams, we strive even higher in our teaching to offer the highest level thinking skills,opportunities for essay writing across the curriculum, opportunities to collaborate in allclasses and daily practice of creativity.rev 0209127

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012Student profileCarver students represent the great diversity of Sacramento City Unified School Districtand Sacramento County. Our student body reflects the Lincoln Village and Rosemontneighborhoods in which we are situated. Other aspects of a Carver student are: a creativeperson, someone who seeks individual attention, students looking for an innovativeapproach to learning. We welcome all students, and we are proud to offer Waldorf eighthgraders a Waldorf high school option.Carver accepts all students regardless of residence. The high school serves students ingrades 9 through 12. Class sizes range from 15 to 32, though our average class size is 28students.Student Voice: At Carver there is a feeling of acceptance for everybody no matter ourbackground or interests.Total Enrollment and Percent Out of DistrictSchool Year2011-20122010-20112009-20102008-2009Total Enrollment290219184171% “in-district” students59%62%74%65%% “out of district”41%38%26%35%Projected EnrollmentSchool Year2012-20132013-20142014-2015Projected Enrollment310340360AttendanceThe Carver school year follows the SCUSD annual school calendar.SummaryFaculty Work DaysCommon Planning Time (18 hours)Shortened DaysFull DaysTotal Service Daysrev 020912High School Days33101671838

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012Attendance Continued:Attendance is critical for student achievement. Absence from school is the number onefactor contributing to unsatisfactory academic achievement and should be avoided exceptdue to illness or in the case of an emergency. State funding for schools is based onstudent attendance. When a student is absent from school, he/she is to bring a note toschool containing his/her name, date of absence, exact reason for the absence and his/herparent or guardian's signature. Absences can also be reported via the voice mail bycalling the high school office. Excessive absences or being tardy can result in a districthearing or referral to the District Attorney's Office.Minutes of InstructionCarver meets State of California required minutes of instruction per school year and therequired calendar of school days, adhering to the SCUSD calendar. Carver expects thatstudents will attend school on a daily basis, unless ill. Accurate contemporaneousrecords of student attendance will be maintained, and those records will be available foraudit and inspection.Carver is in session Monday through Friday. The day begins at 8:30 am and runs through3:30. The After School program runs until 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.CalendarCarver follows a traditional school year calendar. The school day and instructionalminutes meet California Education Code and SCUSD calendar. Students will be expectedbe in attendance each day school is in session, unless the absence is due to illness oremergency.The school calendar is established and approved on an annual basis.rev 0209129

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012THE WALDORF PROGRAMThe Waldorf Approach to EducationYearNinth GradeEducate thepowers of observationthrough a study ofpolarities.Developmental ThemePolaritiesAs young people enter high school in the ninth grade, their livesare full of contrast and tension. They are transitioningintellectually, emotionally, and physically from childhood toadulthood. They are both bound by their physical changes andliberated by their new ability to think conceptually. Manyadolescents feel a conflict between the desire for affiliation and asense of alienation. Our objective is to reflect these polarities intheir educational experience. Students’ experiences of innerpolarities provoked by these changes are reflected back to them inthe carefully chosen school curriculum.For example: In science students study the polarity of heatand cold; in geography, the collision of plate tectonics; inhistory, the conflicts of the revolutions of Russia, France,and the United States; in the history of the theater, tragedyand comedy; in art, black and white drawing, calligraphyand print making.Students are challenged to exercise powers of exactobservation: in the sciences, to describe and drawprecisely what happened in the experiments anddemonstrations; in the humanities, to recount clearly asequence of events or the nature of a character withoutgetting lost in the confusion of details.The objective is to train exact powers of observation andrecollection so that the students can experience thesteadiness of their own thinking in the often-confusingworld of adolescence around them.rev 02091210

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012GradeTenth GradeEducate thepowers of comparisonthrough a study ofprocessesDevelopmental ThemeProcessBy tenth grade, adolescents are actively seeking equilibrium andorder. The curriculum explores equilibrium through the study ofbalance in natural and social phenomena. Students are expected todevelop and utilize powers of comparison. These comparisons helpbring order to chaos, balance to opposition and acceptance ofdifferences. From order and balance, a new awareness can arise.Students experience: in physics, the principles ofmechanics; in social studies, cultural similarities anddifferences and the development of civilization; in art,creating a vessel from plant material or clay . These revealthe possibility of equilibrium arising out of the balancingof extremes.Students are called upon to exercise powers ofcomparison, weighing contrary phenomena to determinetheir value and significance and their origin.Students discover that in the balancing of opposites, newforms can arise, whether in clouds and tides or newchemical compounds.The objective is to help students find their own balance bydiscovering the process of balance in natural and humanphenomena. This can prompt the curiosity to explore the origins ofthings.rev 02091211

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012GradeEleventh GradeEducate thepowers of analysisthroughindividualized study.Developmental ThemeAnalysis: The Quest for IdentityThe personal experience of juniors is a search for identity andindependence. They have formed a new vision of themselves outof chaos, and in the eleventh grade, are ready to journey into theunknown. The curriculum delves further into purely abstractconcepts in order to strengthen the student’s independent analysisand abstract theorizing. New depths in the inner life of thoughts,feelings and deeds arise. Existential questions may come. Eachstudent feels called to find his or her own path in life.Students investigate the invisible through subjects thatdraw them into areas not accessible to the senses. Thisrequires developing a new confidence in abstract thinking.In literature, this journey is captured in the study of theGrail legends and the American Transcendentalist. Inchemistry, students study the development of the periodictable—an insight based on intuition; In projectivegeometry, the meeting point of parallel lines at infinity canbe thought, but never reached in the world of the senses.The objective is to strengthen analytical and abstract thinking:Why are things this way? Why did the events of history take thiscourse? Even deeper questions—those of destiny, purpose in life,and social responsibility—also find their way into the classroom.rev 02091212

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012GradeTwelfth GradeEducate thepowers of synthesisthroughintegrationof all previous learning.Developmental ThemeSynthesis: Myself Within the CommunitySenior year recapitulates and synthesizes the themes of the highschool, as well as the Waldorf-inspired grades’ curriculum.Students examine the relationship of humanity with theworld. Studying the British Romantics, they live with thethoughts of great writers who have questioned man’s placein the world.Subjects synthesize many themes: World History, Historythrough Architecture, Environmental Science and SeniorEssay. Assignments call upon the students to synthesizedisparate disciplines.All students present a senior project which may includewritten, spoken, and performance components.The objective of senior year is the synthesis of the K-12 educationand preparation for the next stage in learning.Experiential EducationCarver believes learning occurs best when the student finds personal meaning andpurpose in the lesson through hands-on experience and place-based education.Experiential education involves direct interaction with the learning environment toaddress practical, social, personal or research problems. Place-based education focuseson the unique history, environment, agriculture, culture, economy, literature and art inSacramento County and the river delta.Students learn through experimentation and making mistakes; they derive knowledgebased on their experiences; they develop relationships while working with other students.Because experiential education involves physical and behavioral as well as intellectualdimensions, learning takes place in the whole body—head, heart, and hands. In the wordsof Waldorf educator Henry Barnes, "When children relate what they learn to their ownexperience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own.”On the Carver campus, experiential learning will occur in every class. The art of Waldorfteaching brings the subject matter to life through wide-ranging experiences that arerecorded individually and artistically by students in their main lesson books. Throughrev 02091213

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012their work in classrooms, laboratories, gardens, art studios, performance spaces andsports fields, students experience firsthand the profound satisfaction of their thinking,planning, hypothesizing, experimentation and expression.High school education is enriched when students are engaged beyond the walls of thetraditional classroom. Internships, service learning, field trips and excursions that takestudents out into their community and the natural environment will provide suchenriching opportunities.Using the environment as a context for learning takes students out of the classroom andinto school gardens, searching for aquatic life in the wetlands, hiking through forests,digging in the soil and sketching native wildlife. Field trips take students to museums,theatre, historical sites, government centers, commerce centers, farms, factories andnatural areas. Researchers have documented the cognitive and affective benefits of fieldtrips, including increased motivation for learning, a more positive attitude toward scienceand environmental concepts, and the acquisition of knowledge and skills.Community partners, organizations and the natural resources of Sacramento County willprovide a special richness and expanded classroom for students. Students at Carver willengage in team and individual internships and service learning opportunities. Theseexperiences are cooperative rather than competitive and thus promote practical life andcareer skills, teamwork and community involvement.Focus on RelationshipIn small schools, students build meaningful relationships with teachers, parents, peers andtheir community. Students learn best from a faculty of experienced, exemplary andinspiring teachers who are dedicated to helping students reach their fullest potential andembark on lives of conscience and consequence. Throughout the adolescent stage ofdevelopment, young people are seeking truth. Authority is no longer taken for granted.Teens seek teachers who embody their ideals of truthfulness, thoughtfulness, selfpossession, consideration and confidence. At this age they must find connection with amentor who shows a mastery of self and subject matter: someone worthy of emulation. Ateacher who is seen as striving towards self-discipline will attain the respect and attentionof her students. We will have a sponsor teacher who works with each cohort of 32students, communicates with each student and family on a regular basis, and coordinatesrelationship-building activities such as meetings, events and trips.ParentsAs teenagers develop a stronger sense of self and autonomy they have a need tobuild a new kind of relationship with their parents. While teens are seeking morefreedom, the road to autonomy is a steady climb of increased responsibility. Theyneed to see examples of how adults move in the world, and more importantly, inthe immediate community. Carver will support the development of theserelationships by creating opportunities for parents to participate fully,meaningfully and purposefully in the life of the school.rev 02091214

George Washington Carver School of Arts and ScienceCharter RenewalJanuary 2012PeersFrom the student perspective, the most prominent and important relationships inhigh school are those with their

George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science (Carver) offers an innovative, creative high school education. It was born out of a 100 year old international education system currently boasting 1000 schools world-wide on nearly every continent. Carver opened in the fall of 2008 with 100 students. At full implementation, Carver will be a .

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